Archive for the ‘david carr’ Category

Hollywood Non-Profit Helps Troubled Youth

November 18, 2009

Written By: David Carr
Photos By: Michael Kass

My Friend’s Place: A non-profit finds, help, hope and a home for troubled youth in Hollywood.

The homeless situation in Los Angeles is still a pervasive issue. Many organizations along with community representatives and volunteers have tried to make a dent into this on going problem. One organization making a difference is My Friend’s Place. My Friend’s Place has created a comprehensive approach to dealing with homeless youth in Hollywood by providing shelter, a safe environment and in some instances a pathway to education and a better life. Michael Kass is the Director of Development at My Friend’s Place and he sat down with me to talk about the organization and how they are tackling this crisis.

David Carr: How long has My Friend’s Place been in operation and how long have you worked there?

Michael Kass: MFP was founded in 1988 and I have worked here for 2.5 years.

DC: At this point in time how many youth would you say are currently being helped at My Friends Place?

MK: We see nearly 2,000 youth per year. They access services ranging from basic needs (food, clothing, showers, etc.) to educational opportunities, health education, and clinical case management.

DC: What is the percentage of homeless youth in Hollywood right now?

MK: There are approximately 11,000 homeless youth in Los Angeles County. I’m not sure what the exact count for Hollywood is, but I can tell you that our area is one of the few in which the number of homeless youth is increasing. Hollywood has always been a magnet for homeless youth and the current economic conditions have not changed that.

DC: In your opinion what is the main catalyst that puts kids on the streets? Is it broken homes? Drug abuse? Teenage runaways?

MK: It runs the gamut, David. We are seeing an increasing number of youth who have aged out of the foster care system–they hit age 18 and are expelled from the system, often without the skills or resources to live independently. A significant percentage of the youth we see are escaping from mentally or physically abusive homes and/or families. As the economic crisis has gone on, we have seen more and more youth whose families simply cannot afford to care for them right now. Sometimes the entire family is living in a shelter and the youth just need a place to go to be safe during the day.

DC: Is there anyway to breakdown percentage what kind of situations these kids are coming out of?

MK: A needs assessment conducted last year by The California Endowment and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles revealed that 57% of the youth at MFP were victims of childhood physical abuse, 75% have been involved with the criminal justice system in some form, and nearly one third are dealing with depression and/or bipolar disorder.

DC: How does My Friends Place help these youth?

MK: The idea of building trust and strong relationships is at the core of all MFP programs. Our model is low-barrier–any homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 25 (and their children) is welcome into our space as long as they are able to maintain our safe haven. Our mission is to assist and inspire homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives. Within this broad framework, we offer services in three general areas:

1. Basic Needs: Food, clothing, showers, hygiene products, communication, referrals to outside services, etc… Often, a young person on the streets has not eaten for days. Extreme hunger can make it impossible to focus on anything other than getting food. By meeting these most basic of needs, MFP makes it possible for a youth to begin focusing on longer-term plans.

2. Transformative Education: This includes workshops ranging from employment skills, resume preparation, and GED preparation to Creative Arts (theater, circus arts, creative writing, and visual arts). The creative arts programs function as a mental health intervention–young people achieve breakthroughs in writing or even circus arts that would not be possible in a more traditional mental health setting.

3. Health and Well-Being: Includes health education (OD prevention, STI prevention, emotional well-being, violence prevention, etc.) and clinical case management.

In addition to services our staff provides, we have partnerships with over 70 organizations that allow us to offer services such as basic onsite primary medical care, mental health therapy, and legal services.

DC: I know as a development director your primary job is to raise money but do you ever get involved with the program side of the organization?

MK: I do get involved with some creative arts programs when time allows. I’ve facilitated the theater workshop a few times, facilitated a film festival jury (a group of young people served as the “Youth Jury” for the environmentally focused Jules Verne Film Festival), and have worked to expand our Circus Arts program

DC: How can people get involved with your organization? What can folks do to do help?

MK: We have tons of volunteer opportunities, and we are always looking for in-kind donations and people can donate online to help support our services. A complete rundown of volunteer opportunities can be found here: http://www.myfriendsplace.org/howtovolunteer.html

DC: Michael thanks for taking the time to chat with me about what’s going on at My Friend’s Place.

MK: Not a problem David.

For more information on how to get involved with My Friend’s Place log on to www.myfriendsplace.org.

Non-Profit Gives Young People A Way to Cope With Pain

November 17, 2009

To Write Love On Her Arms: A New Non-Profit Gives Young People A Way to Cope With Pain

Written By: David Carr

The World Health Organization estimates that 121 million people suffer from depression and 18 million of these cases are happening in the US. Another report claims that 2/3 of those suffering from depression never seek treatment and instead tend to self medicate with drugs, alcohol or cutting. A non-profit organization based in Florida is trying slowly but surely to reverse those numbers and they are using popular social networks to talk with young people openly, and honestly about their issues. To Write Love On Her Arms is a non-profit, based in Orlando, Florida, dedicated to creating a safe space for young people to talk about their issues. The organization’s staff and interns are able to refer troubled youth to professionals who can get them the treatment they need. Jamie Tworkowski is the founder of TWLOHA and he sat down with me for a lengthy discussion about his organization.

David Carr: Jamie, what prompted you to start this type of non-profit and how long has the organization been up and running?

Jamie Tworkowski: We have been operating for three years. The organization grew out of me trying to help a close friend. My friend Rene was really suffering from depression. She had tried to commit suicide. She had actually cut herself and carved “fuck up” on her arm. When we tried to get her into a hospital, the fact that she had ingested drugs meant that she actually had to wait five days before they could see her. I was with her for the five days, and while I was with her, I used things like My Space, Facebook and Twitter to reach out to people for help.

I knew that she could not afford treatment so I asked for donations. People started responding and helping; folks started to donate money but then other people started e-mailing about their issues with depression…other folks needed someone to talk to. It just seemed to grow from there. While my friends and I helped Rene we started helping other people in need.

DC: How big is your organization now?

JT: We have ten people on staff, and six interns. So far we have answered over 100,000 e-mails from people who needed to talk to someone and we have spoken to youth from over 100 different countries.

DC: Walk me through exactly what you do? Is your staff mostly talking to high school-age kids?

JT: Our message is a simple one. We basically set up a safe place either on My Space, Facebook, and/or Twitter, or over the phone for folks to talk to us and to share their story about dealing with their specific issue. Our goal is to meet them wherever they are and get them to the next step in their recovery. We are not the solution. Our role, after getting them to open up to us, is to get them to open up to a friend or counselor in their community. The age range of who we serve is pretty diverse. We end up talking to a lot of high school age kids, college kids, some adults…we have parents who talk to us about their kids. It’s a unique mix.

DC: What would you say is the number one issue many of the kids who reach out to you are facing?

JT: It’s depression. I mean, they just need ways to cope with different forms of depression. They get hooked on drugs or alcohol or they end up cutting themselves because they cannot figure out another way to deal with depression. The kids we work with don’t know how to cope with their pain.

DC: On average how many e-mails would you say you get a day from kids?

JT: We get anywhere from 500 to 1000 e-mails per week. We are also sending our staff to college campuses and interacting with young people face to face now.

DC: I know you had a booth at the Warped Tour this past year. How has music played a role in what you do?

JT: Two out of the five days I spent with Rene were at shows. Music was a huge part of her life. It was the only thing at the time, she felt connected to. When I reached out for help a few musicians responded. Young people feel a serious connection to the music and bands they are into, so I knew music had to be a part of this. We have been on the Warped Tour three times and Kevin (Lyman) and his people make it very easy for non-profits to set up and go on tour and reach out to young people.

DC: Are folks mainly stopping by during the tour to give a donation or do you have kids coming by to talk?

JT: All of the above. Some folks buy a T-Shirt, others want to really know what we are about but we do have kids at the shows who really want to have a serious conversation about what is going on with them. Sometimes they come to the booth in order to feel safe. They see it as a comfortable, safe place to be.

DC: How can people get involved and support the work you are doing?

JT: They can get on the website. They can donate money or just buy a shirt. We are working with a couple of great organizations right now to expand the kind of help we provide. We will be doing more peer to peer/face to face interactions with folks real soon. If folks are serious about helping us out all they have to do is hit the website.

DC: We started our conversation with you telling me about how helping your friend Rene was the catalyst that got you involved in creating this organization. How is Rene doing now?

JT: I’m happy to say that Rene has had three years of sobriety. Like any other person who has an addiction, she is taking each day as a challenge to stay sober. Some days have been better than others, but she’s in a better place now, and she’s in treatment getting the help she needs.

DC: Jamie thank you for chatting with me and good luck with all of the great work you’re doing.

JT: Thanks, David.

If you are someone you know is suffering from depression, log on to http://www.twloha.com/index.php and get the help you or your friend needs.

Issues of Diversity on a Volatile School Campus Part II

November 13, 2009

A First Year Teacher in the World of Difference and Same (Part 2)

Written By: David Carr
Photo By: Colin Bootman

View Part I here.

So there I was and there we were, those sixty pairs of eyes staring at me, wondering what would come next. As I turned to the chalk board sweat starting to work its way on my brow, I started to write down a list of questions on the board. I turned to the sixty students and said in a commanding voice, “I need everyone to take out a sheet of paper, a pencil or pen and write these questions down right now.” These were not tough questions by any stretch of the imagination. “What is your name, where do you live, do you live in a house or an apartment, when is your birthday?” These were the questions I had the students write down.

“What do we do after we write these down?”

Good question, I thought to myself but before I even knew it, I had the answer. I told the class that the Spanish I kids were going to have to ask my Hispanic students these questions in the best Spanish they could muster. My kids, the ESL kids were going to have to try and answer the questions in English. “When you are finished, I stated you will simply switch. My students will ask the questions in English and the Spanish I kids will answer back in Spanish.”

“What will happen when we finish?” another student asked. “Don’t worry; I replied there will be more questions.” A funny and somewhat peculiar thing happened after I gave the directions. The students actually did what I said!! I almost fell over. At that time in my short career lesson plans were still tough for me to write but I had mastered the art of sounding like I meant business no matter what! I watched as the students asked each other the questions. I listened as the students stumbled through the answers and I looked on as the students tried to help each other with the assignment. This was truly the first time I had seen a large group of African American and Latino students working together on the campus. Even in classes where the two groups were mixed they often sat apart from each other and never interacted.

It was an anomaly to see the two groups now forced to work with each other. They finished the assignment by the time the class was over. They repeated the same assignment on Tuesday and I came up with new questions as I promised. By Wednesday the students were coming up with their own questions and I had become a non-entity in the room and to top it off, the kids seemed to be having fun.

The following week the Spanish I teacher was back at school. She was a bit perturbed at me for not having executed her lesson but she seemed interested in what had gone on in my class, because her students remarked that they had, had a good time with my kids. As fourth period began in my room my students seemed to lack focus. Finally one of my students asked, “Mr. Carr where are the students?” “Which students I asked?” “You know Mr. Carr los…los…los Africano Americanos, where are the friends?” This was the first time I had heard one of the immigrant students try to find a word other than ‘mayate’ to describe the Black students on the campus.

Now it seemed they had built some type of relationship with these students. However fleeting the relationship was they had no choice but to try and refer to the Black students with some sense of humanity and dignity. I suspect the same thing was happening in the Spanish I class. The Black kids had learned that not every Latino child on our campus was Mexican and that all they really had to do was ask and they would find out where some of the kids were from. At that moment I realized something about the champions of diversity and multicultural education.

These “do-gooders” often want to get kids of various ethnicities together to do one of two things. Either they have the kids talk about their differences to no end or they have the kids dialog on what it means to be “oppressed.” The former in my mind is a mute point. The kids know they are different. They can see the differences as plain as day! The latter again in my humble still makes no sense. The kids know they are different and depending on where they live they know that their communities have been hard hit. They live it everyday.

What these folks never have kids do is get them to talk about what they actually have in common! How about that for a novel idea? Now my kids did not do that at all in that fourth period class, what they had to do was work together in order to finish an assignment. They had an assignment and they knew (or at the very least they believed) they had no choice and they needed to finish it. The only way that was going to happen was for them to work together.

I am not naïve enough to think that in one week you can solve racial issues on a high school campus or in a community. The problems that existed in my school and community still went on after that week. But what I do know is that if multi-ethnic communities are going to thrive and not just survive then we have to do more than just talk about our differences. We will have to find the ties that bind, find common ground and then work together to get things done.

I often look back on that week as the moment when I finally became a teacher. Kids were working together, checking each other’s work, correcting each other while I merely looked on and coached. That was the week I learned of possibilities. It was the week I started to feel like a teacher and it was a week in which both teacher and student discovered hope…

Issues of Diversity on a Volatile School Campus

November 9, 2009

A First Year Teacher in the World of Difference and Same (Part I): Dealing with REAL Issues of Diversity on a Volatile School Campus

Written By: David Carr Photo By: Barbara Penoyar

I can remember it like it was yesterday. There I was, a first year teacher at Compton High. I was idealistic, young, a bit naive and in over my head. It was the month of October and September had seemed like the longest month of my life. I was teaching English as a Second Language at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. The woman who taught Spanish was going to be gone for an entire week and she had asked me if I could take her 4th period class into my classroom while she was gone. She had a lesson plan and work for the students to do. It seemed like a slam dunk.

All of my students were recent Latino immigrants. All of her Spanish students were African American. Back in the early 90’s the demographics of places like South Central, Watts, and Inglewood had seen a huge shift. During the 80’s these aforementioned places were 90-95% African American. By 1993 these areas were now 50% Black and 50% Latino. With the shift in demographics came racial tension. The tension on the street with the gangs was fierce. The tension also manifested itself politically. These areas were now half Latino but were being governed by a virtually all African American political elite. At times, the Black political establishment found itself at odds with its new found community members.

Compton had seen the biggest shift out of all of the neighborhoods. Compton was now 60% Latino and our high school reflected that demographic in terms of the student’s population. The tension on school campuses was also an issue that needed to be dealt with. There were many fights and full-scale riots at big inner city high schools. I had found myself in the middle of two of them on my campus. All of these issues swirled in my head as I told the Spanish I teacher I would take all of her kids in my class for a week during my fourth period.

The following week, as I began the drive to Compton High, I started thinking to myself about the fact that on this Monday, my fourth period my classroom would have 30 Latino kids and 30 African American students in it. My students usually just kept to themselves on campus. On the campus the racial divide was thick. The Black kids played basketball at lunch. The Latinos played handball. The sports teams were not racially mixed at all. Unless they were forced to do so, you rarely saw any interaction between the Black and Latino students. The racial divide in my mind was a huge issue that someone had to deal with at the school and in the community.

As I pulled on to the campus I decided that my fourth period would be the place where change would begin. I didn’t care about what the Spanish I teacher’s lesson was. I simply threw it away and as soon as her kids came into my class I was going to be the one to bring these two factions together! So I threw her lesson away and as I taught periods 1-3 I feverishly tried to figure out what I was going to do with these two groups of kids once they hit my room. I knew I wanted to do something, but I didn’t have a clue as to what that “something” would be. As the first break after third period ended, I began to sweat. At that point, I was wishing I didn’t throw away that lesson plan!

As the bell rang, my students walked in and took their seats. I was given the typical greeting I had quickly become accustomed to in both English and Spanish (Hola Mr. Carr, hi Mr. Mr. Carro…my favorite was que onda Meeeester.) My kids took out their notebooks and started copying down their first assignment. “Maybe I lucked out and the Spanish I kids won’t show,” I thought to myself. No such luck.

All thirty of the Spanish I students arrived. I quickly tried to seat them throughout the room next to my students. As I did this you could hear the racially volatile questions coming out of the mouths of both groups of students. “Damn, why are their so many Mesakins in this class? How come you don’t teach any Black kids?!!?” It seemed, that for the African American students, if you spoke Spanish, you were Mexican. At times they were just not aware of the diversity within the Latino community in the neighborhood.

“Hay porque los mayates esta en este classe?” I had heard some of the Latinos use this word to describe the Black students on campus. The literal translation of the word “mayate” is a small disgusting black bug. I learned quickly that this word was the Spanish equivalent of the word ‘nigger.’ The students passed these phrases between each other with the greatest of ease on campus and now they were doing it in my classroom. After I situated the students I went to the front of the classroom. You could cut the tension in the room with a knife. The thirty pairs of eyes I usually had staring at me were now sixty pairs of eyes, all wondering what we were going to do. They all seemed to be wondering what would come next. Interestingly enough, I was also wondering what we were going to do and what would come next…

Saying and Doing: President Obama and the Peace Prize

October 13, 2009

Written By: David Carr
Photo Credit: Smith Prasirtpun

President Obama Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

When I woke up Friday morning I did what I normally do. I checked my e-mail and then went to Facebook. I am still figuring out Facebook and still determining its usefulness when I saw a curious posting about President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. I honestly thought it was a sarcastic reference or a joke of some sort.

Once I moved to the morning news I realized that this was no joke at all. President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize to the surprise of everyone and I do mean everyone. People on the committee had no idea he was even nominated. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs just exclaimed “wow” and then waited 45 minutes until he told the President fearing it was some sort of joke.

Obama himself was awakened to the news by his daughters who not only told him he had won the peace prize but that it was their dog’s birthday and that they were excited about their up coming three day weekend. The pundits wasted little time in dissecting the meaning of Obama winning the coveted prize. RNC chairman Michael Steele railed against the committee for giving the prize to Obama on the grounds that he had not accomplished anything to deserve winning the award. Many on the left felt it was hypocritical for the President to win an award for peace as the war in Afghanistan escalates. The questions at hand rang like a clarion call. What did the President actually do to win the award or to even be nominated for the award? The answer is a bit complex.

It seems that while our President may be the victim of boorish town hall meetings, not so flattering signs and rhetoric here in the states, in the international community his cult of personality is alive, well and intact. The committee, rightly or wrongly may have nominated President Obama purely on the basis that he is so different from his predecessor. I am not sure of the subtle and not so subtle nuances of the nominating committee but they have made it clear that President Obama won the award because of his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” Many have read this as, our President did not necessarily get the award for doing something but rather he got it to symbolize the potential of the things he will do. He got the award for the things he has said he was going to do. He in effect, has received this award for mainly “saying”. Obama himself has said he will accept the award not based on what he has done but rather as a call to action to confront the challenges of the 21st century. What some even minded critics have stated in a nutshell is that they would like to see our President execute a little more “doing” and a lot less “saying.”

In any case I like how our President accepted his surprising award and I agree he needs to use it as a call to action. This award needs to be a motivating force to now get things done. While Obama may be an amazing orator and would be bridge builder, the American populous is starting to grow weary of speeches and platitudes and appearances on late night TV. Again, we find ourselves caught within the political quagmire between “doing” and “saying”. Change is never swift. It is always slow and methodical and it never comes quick enough. If our President truly means what he says about using this award as a motivating force then I say let’s see it happen.

Let’s use this semi-awkward, award winning moment as a catalyst to get a few things done, and to be fair, our president has been working. He has been trying but this may be the impetus, to push rhetoric to tangible action. We have been caught up in the war between “saying” and “doing”. Cuban poet Jose Marti once said that “doing” is the best way of “saying” and this may be the mantra that the Obama administration may need to truly push forward the change we have talked about; the change our country so desperately needs.

The pundits both on the right and the left will have a few days of perry and thrust over this turn of events and our president himself is probably still scratching his head over his “victory”. What I hope can come out of this is the idea that now is the time to turn saying into doing. It’s time to truly put together the moving pieces when it comes to our health care system, our economic situation and the war in Afghanistan. Maybe the award is a good thing. Maybe the award can truly be the catalyst to go from saying to doing. I hope so. At this moment we seem to be a nation divided. We seem to be a nation in need of a little more doing and a lot less saying as Jose Marti has said, doing is indeed the best way of saying.

Setting the Example: An Open Letter to the Republican Party

September 11, 2009

Written By: David Carr

Let the Divisive Rhetoric End and the Discourse Begin!

Yesterday was the first day back to school for many young people across the country. President Barack Obama decided he wanted to give a kind of pep-talk to kids as they went back into

their classrooms. He wanted to talk about the responsibility they had to themselves with regards to their own education. In my mind, when I heard this I thought to myself, you can’t get anymore non-partisan than that. I mean we as Americans want all kids to do well in school, right? I could not have been more wrong. I honestly thought this would take the “heat” off of the health care debate but instead it was nothing more than a bit of gasoline for some in the Republican Party. Right wing talk show hosts urged parents to take their children out of school. Folks on the far right said it was a speech of indoctrination.

Many suggested that the President was going to turn the nation’s youth into socialists’ and communists. Does anyone else by the way find the interchangeable use of these two political ideologies as funny as I do?

I digress; the bottom line is, not even a speech/pep-talk designed to simply motive students could be seen by some on the right as just an innocent gesture by our President. It was turned into a political food fight of sorts in an effort to once again play the blame game. As a tax paying citizen of our country and as an educator I am here to say I have had enough. Just as President Obama challenged our youth I am going to challenge the leaders of the Republican Party. President Obama challenged the youth of the nation to take responsibility for their actions when it comes to their education and I want to challenge the rank and file leadership of the Republican Party. I want to challenge you to take responsibility for the country you represent as so called leaders in our democracy.

In a democracy there must be room for disagreement and debate. That is the very spirit of a democracy but since the election there has been a fringe element that has been growing in this country and that element, seems incapable of having any kind of civil discourse. The debate over

health care has degenerated into shouting matches across the county. We really have not seen or heard a specific plan for health care yet, but already folks don’t like it. Or in some cases folks really do like it but can’t tell you what they like about it or what it even is. Sarah Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska to become a blogger and chat online about how Obama’s health care plan was going to be setting up death panels. I am not sure what this even means but a “death panel” would seem to be the opposite of “health care.”

It also seemed, to be a very irresponsible thing to say from a woman who was once running for the vice-presidency of these United States. Thankfully your plumber named “Joe” is slowly but surely entering the “where are they now” files but your prime time radio host with the most, Rush Limbaugh can’t seem to separate fact from fiction. Even when your Republican chair Michael Steele tried to explain, that Rush was merely an entertainer of sorts, as a radio personality (he was right by the way) he had to apologize the day after and had to claim that yes, Rush is indeed a tried and true political figure to be taken seriously.

A group of folks calling themselves “The Birthers” have claimed that Obama is not even an American citizen. They have been shown his birth certificate but it does not make any difference to these folks. Add to all of this, the rhetoric of “I want my country back”, and you have the makings of an unstable element that is not being reigned in by more responsible voices. I am not sure where some people feel the country has gone but let me assure everyone it is indeed still here and it is in need of help.

Because the political discourse has broken down, I will ask or rather demand that the members of the Republican Party start taking responsibility for some within their party. I am not asking for folks to hold hands and sing Kumbaya. I am not naive enough to believe that Republicans and Democrats can agree on everything, but the issues we are facing are ones where we can have a civil debate, which can hopefully lead us to solutions. Questioning whether or not our president is a citizen, saying he will be setting up death panels and calling him a socialist, a communist and comparing him to Hitler does not move the country forward. By not reigning in your “entertainers”, (yes your Glen Beck’s and your Limbaugh’s are entertainers, nothing more, and nothing less), you keep us from moving forward.

You are keeping us frozen in a state of polarization at best. At it’s worst, this type of rhetoric can be divisive and dangerous. I will also say that it was wrong when folks on the left did it. It was wrong when the fringe element of the left portrayed George Bush as Hitler and it is wrong when the fringe element of the right does it now with Obama. I know for a fact that there are many reasonable leaders within the Republican Party who want to see the discourse taken to a higher level, yet they refuse to chastise their own. Again I say, Obama wants our youth to show some responsibility and I want our adults to set the example.

To be fair, I have concerns and criticisms for our President. I want to see some light at the end of the tunnel with regards to this economic crisis and I am also hoping he spells out his health care plan to the American public in chapter and verse but I am not asking to see his birth certificate nor do I think he has kidnapped the country. I mean really, when you shout “I want my country back” are you talking about health care or are you talking about the fact that America has been and continues to move forward and change with regards to shifting attitudes towards race, class and difference? Change can be tough to handle but it is also what makes this country great. You can be a team player and help shape the present and future or you can dwell in the past. And again, I firmly believe that being a team player does not mean we agree on everything but when we disagree we must make sense! That is all I ask. We must have reasons for our disagreements and they must be grounded in a sense of reality .

I enjoyed watching Obama’s speech to our nation’s youth. I have a stirring feeling that Obama and his secretary of education Arne Duncan want to really turn this nation’s concern about public education into real, tangible commitment. I truly liked his message of taking responsibility. It’s a message I have often tried to instill in the students I have taught. It is that message of responsibility that needs to be taken seriously by our politicians on both sides of the aisle. In the coming weeks my hope; nay my demand is that the rhetoric of birth certificates and panels of doom give way to calm, cool, reasonable discourse.

If our kids can do it, I know we as adults can do it. Our President expects our young people to do the right thing when it comes to representing themselves with regards, to their education. I expect the same thing from my political leaders be they Republican or Democrat when it comes to moving the country forward. Now is the time, for the adults, to set the example.

David Carr

June 20, 2008

Position: Live Show Correspondent (Los Angeles)

Location: Long Beach, CA

Bio:David Carr is the assistant director of new teacher development and recruitment for a charter school management organization. David divides his time between going to education job fairs, both in and out of state, to recruit the most outstanding candidates to teach in charter schools throughout the greater Los Angeles area. When he is not working with first year teachers, he is a freelance writer, interviewing bands/artists and writing reviews of CDs and live shows. David was a 1993 Los Angeles Teach for America corps member. David is also a featured writer for Associated Content, an online magazine. He has taught at Compton High School Franklin Middle School, Animo Venice Charter High School and was a Teach for America program director in Los Angeles from 1998-2001.

Likes: Rock, alternative, hip-hop, punk, reggae, funk, blues, old school soul, metal – Foo Fighters, King’s of Leon, The Roots, TV On the Radio, Living Colour, Common, De La Soul, Social Distortion, Yeah Yeah Yeahs…the list goes on and on!

Columns At CWG: Reality Check, The Features

Twitter: Twitter.com/dcarr70

Facebook: Facebook.com/home.php?#/davidcarr70?ref=profile